Pregnane X receptor dependent up-regulation ofCYP2C9 andCYP3A4 in tumor cells by antitumor acridine agents, C-1748 and C-1305, selectively diminished under hypoxia

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Graphical abstractInduction of proteins involved in drug metabolism and in drug delivery has a significant impact on drug–drug interactions and on the final therapeutic effects. Two antitumor acridine derivatives selected for present studies, C-1748 (9-(2′-hydroxyethylamino)-4-methyl-1-nitroacridine) and C-1305 (5-dimethylaminopropylamino-8-hydroxy-triazoloacridinone), expressed high and low susceptibility to metabolic transformations with liver microsomes, respectively. In the current study, we examined the influence of these compounds on cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) and 2C9 (CYP2C9) enzymatic activity and gene expression in HepG2 tumor cells. Luminescence and HPLC examination, real-time RT-PCR and western blot analyses along with transfection of pregnane X receptor (PXR) siRNA and CYP3A4 reporter gene assays were applied. We found that both compounds strongly induced CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 activity and expression as well as expression of UGT1A1 and MDR1 in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. C-1748-mediated CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 mRNA induction equal to rifampicin occurred at extremely low concentrations (0.001 and 0.01 μM), whereas 10 μM C-1305 induced three-times higher CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 mRNA levels than rifampicin did. CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 expressions were shown to be PXR-dependent; however, neither compound influenced PXR expression. Thus, the observed drug-mediated induction of isoenzymes occurs on a PXR-mediated regulatory level. Furthermore, C-1748 and C-1305 were demonstrated to be selective PXR agonists. These effects are hypoxia-inhibited only in the case of C-1748, which is sensitive to P450 metabolism. In summary, PXR was found to be a new target of the studied compounds. Thus, possible combinations of these compounds with other therapeutics might lead to the PXR-dependent enzyme-mediated drug–drug interactions.

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